By focusing on five countries - Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Thailand - the report uses research on the ground to document the impact that mass data-gathering, and the integration of ID systems, is having on people in marginalized communities.
The following is an overview of the key findings:
- Legal identity can empower people, but the more data exists, the more surveillance there is
- Mass data-gathering and ignoring the personal nature of the data can put vulnerable populations at risk
- The purpose of obtaining data is not always understood by already-excluded people, and many of the registration locations are inaccessible, meaning even when the system is designed to strengthen the rights of these groups - many are unable to
- Data sharing, centralized databases and merging IDs can create convenience but decrease data privacy
The authors summarize their key findings with the following headlines:
The report also amplifies the voices of those often left out of the global conversation on digital ID in order to engage the communities that will benefit most from it, with the policy-makers who often put them at risk.
The aim of the report is to facilitate informed and evidence-based advocacy, to be used for social justice.